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Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard? The definitive answer!

Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have been giants of the Premier League, two club legends that had stellar careers winning a huge amount of trophies and plaudits. Their playing careers have come to an end now and as two, goal scoring central midfielders, two questions have followed them around. Could they play together? Who was the better player?
It is important to understand the difference between the two players, both right-footed, box to box central midfielders with an eye for goal but that is where the similarities end.
Lampard was a traditional number eight, comfortable on the ball, an accomplished passer and a gift for drifting into the box at the right time, a la David Platt, to score goals. Lampard scored a huge amount of goals, having had no part in the build up play, but arriving at the right time in order to get shots on target.
Steven Gerrard was a much more forceful player, driving the opposition back and dragging his teammates forward, through crunching tackles and surging  runs. Gerrard would score his goals from distance strikes or as a result of a driving run at the heart of the opposition's defence. Neither player was very vocal but both players inspired their teammates to better things through their play. Gerrard offered more defensively than Lampard he was tougher and stronger in the tackle,( Lampard was more of a ball knicker, than a crunching tackler), but Gerrard was also more prone to a hot headed rush of blood and subsequent bookings and red cards. 
Although they played together many times for England and were successful with both players on the pitch, no England manager really puzzled out the conundrum of getting the best of both of them. They tended to go with one or the other or nullify Gerrard's attacking threat by asking him to play as the holding midfielder. However they are both good, intelligent players and would definitely have been effective if deployed in the right manner. Jose Mourinho tried to buy Gerrard for his all- conquering Chelsea team and he would definitely have had a plan to make them work together. Gerrard's home town loyalty scuppered the deal otherwise England may have benefitted greatly. Mourinho likes a four three three formation and I see this as the best tactical set-up to accommodate them both. Lampard and Gerrard play either side of an intelligent, holding midfielder in the first bank of three with both having a licence to do their thing. This set-up would need very athletic full-backs in order to provide width for the team.  At that time Chelsea had Ashley Cole, who could gallop up and down the left wing all day long, and Branislav Ivanovich, who could, if required step inside and make the defence a back three of centre backs if ever Gerrard or Lampard were caught out of position. The England team, the England fans, and Gerrard and Lampard were let down by a number of England managers that didn't successfully take advantage of their combined strengths. They could definitely play together in the same midfield!
Frank Lampard won the most trophies and Steven Gerrard the most plaudits. Most pundits, most fans and most media outlets made Steven Gerrard the better player. Technically Gerrard was probably the better player, he had a better range of passing, was a marginally, better striker of the ball and definitely better at running with the ball, but he wasn't as tactically astute as Lampard and lacked Lampard's coolness under pressure, sometimes a heart on sleeve, and rigorous passion wasn't the answer.
Statistically Lampard was the better player, more goals, more assists, more games and certainly trophy wise Lampard was the better player but he played in better teams. Gerrard had a decent career trophywise, two FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup but this record was dwarfed by Frank Lampard who won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, one UEFA Champions League and one UEFA Europa League. Frank Lampard was a great player and made the players around him better. However swap the two players, does anyone really think Chelsea would have won less if they had had Steven Gerrard instead of Frank Lampard? No? Me neither? But put Lampard in that 2005 Liverpool team and does anyone think Lampard would have dragged them to Champions League glory or FA Cup glory the following year? Nope me neither.
So my premise is this Steven Gerrard was the better player because:-
Frank Lampard could make a good team better but he couldn't make a poor team good. Steven Gerrard could!

By Clive Palmer

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